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Mary Herness survived a heat attack on Friday, August 4th. After getting her hair fixed, she called her doctor in Black River Falls and was told to come in immediately. Todd drove her there where she took a short helicopter ride to Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The cardiologist tried unsuccessfully to place a stent. Mary chose to go ahead with open heart surgery. The surgery started around 6pm and was finished approximately 4 hours later. She rested comfortably while sedated through the night.
On Saturday morning the sedation was discontinued and the breathing tube removed. Mary was progressing well when the surgeon decided to remove the heart pump. Just as they were to start removing the pump, Mary's heart stopped. They performed CPR and used the defibrillator to start her heart. Within twenty minutes, this happened again. She was then reintubated as she was too weak to breath on her own. She was also sedated to help her heal. Sedation was stopped on Sunday afternoon.
On Monday, she was able to open her eyes and track movement as well as move her toes. By Tuesday morning she was alert and able to move her hand. She was extubated again. With the lasting affects of her polio as a child, breathing and clearing her throat has been a challenge. Right now, she is requesting only immediate family for visitors. I will update this site as she improves her strength.